FORT COLLINS — Whether you agree or disagree with Larry Eustachy’s coaching style — which includes using profane-filled, personal attacks on players in an attempt to motivate them — Eustachy himself admitted four years ago the way he was running his program crossed the line.
Colorado State set up a strict protocol to ensure Eustachy’s behavior didn’t continue. But when athletic director Jack Graham was fired by university president Tony Frank in August 2014, the zero-tolerance policy that was supposed to monitor Eustachy was essentially left behind.
“I know people want us to think there was this crazy opportunity to keep the program under a microscope. But I put trust in Larry and I put trust in others,” Graham’s eventual replacement, Joe Parker, said Friday. “I looked at (the zero-tolerance policy) as an opportunity for conversation with Coach Eustachy. I looked at it as an expectation of what we want from all our programs as it relates to a healthy climate and experience for our students. So, that was kind of my approach as it related to the zero-tolerance.”
Eustachy resigned on Monday in the midst of Parker’s “climate assessment” of the veteran coach’s conduct, the university’s second investigation of the polarizing coach in the past four years. The first one took place during the 2013-14 season and ended with Graham recommending Eustachy be fired after it was discovered he was verbally and emotionally abusing players.
Parker says this year’s assessment was started in response to a single complaint he received from a player, the first and only complaint he said he’s ever had from a student-athlete on the men’s basketball program since he took over as CSU’s athletic director in February 2015. Parker was approached by former team trainer Mac McDonald last February about concerning behavior by Eustachy dating back to the 2015-16 season, but since Parker said he had recently talked to the student-athlete who was involved in the issues raised by McDonald, Parker said he felt he no further action was needed because the student-athlete had told Parker he felt good about his experience with Eustachy.